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Hi all, Happy New Year to all and best wishes for 2017.  Thanks for being part of the journey so far.  This year I am going to Jazz th...

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Sunday spin Limerick City Photo Walk

Hello, all my beautiful people, 

Where: Limerick City. 
Why: Limerick city lies on the river Shannon and comprises of Georgian architecture, the medieval centre with King Johns Castle and St Mary's Cathedral. The main shopping area lies between Cruises street and O'Connell street. Limerick is renowned for its sporting culture with Thomond Park for rugby, University of Limerick boasts the first 50m swimming pool in Ireland and world class sporting facilities. The Gaelic Grounds  on the Ennis Road for gaelic football and hurling.The Crescent shopping centre is also a one stop shop with Zara, H & M, Next. Cinema and cafes.
What: Peoples park, Georgian buildings, No 1 Pery Square and Tait Memorial Clock.
Facilities:  I took in this walk from train station down to Brown Thomas on O'Connell street. I passed down by the Tait Memorial Clock. There are a number of cafes, Limerick City Gallery of Art is right on Pery Square. The last time I was in I really enjoyed the gallery. Its right beside the Peoples Park.  I passed down by No. 1 Pery Square and the Belltable Arts Centre which is a theatre in the city centre.
Pros: Limerick people vast majority are genuine, down to earth they have a wit of their own and are friendly. The people make the place. Excellent shopping and beautiful architecture but it does pain me to see so many that are not kept well. Limerick women are so fashion savvy too and so I love people watching.
Cons:  I did not have enough time to go to all the places I wanted as was meeting friends so there will be another post on some other places in the city. Limerick does have a bit of a bad reputation. Its like every city be streetwise and watch your belongings etc. Don't walk home at night. Be sensible.I will be back in Limerick and I will be doing loads more to showcase as there is more to Limerick then meets the eye.
History: 
Pery Square and the Peoples Park: Pery Square was built between 1835-1838.  The terrace was named after Edmund Sexton Pery 1st Viscount Pery, a noted politician who was born in Limerick and a trained barrister. The Peoples Park lies opposite Pery Square. Development commenced  on the Peoples Park in 1835. The intended plan was to surround the park with housing for the more affluent members of society as Pery Square was intended to be a complete Georgian square with the Georgian terraces enclosing a central park. However, due to the Great Famine in Ireland the Georgian economy began to decline and Pery Square was not completed in this manner. The park was finished in 1877 and was given to the people of Limerick. 
Tait Memorial Clock is a freestanding clock tower and lies in Baker Street. It was erected in 1867 and was carved from limestone. It is of gothic design. It commemorated  Sir Peter Tait who was mayor of Limerick from 1866 to 1868.Apparently, there are bullet holes in the monument from  an ambush between the Irish Republican Army and the black and tans.  
The Crescent Limerick: not the shopping centre but the Georgian area whose name is derived from the shape of the terraced buildings on both sides. The Jesuit church can be found in the middle of my picture and Limerick Tutorial College, a fee paying private school lies to the left of it. 
Belltable:  It was named after Henry Hubert Belltable, a Belgian army officer who founded the Holy Confraternity in Limerick. The facility, which opened in 1981, It contains a theatre.
Accommodation:  No 1 Pery Square  have stayed twice. Best thing is the staff as they go all out and are very helpful. The beds are massive and very comfortable.  Bathrooms are also big in any of the rooms I stayed in. They have classical music playing in the bedroom the last time I arrived which I liked. Breakfast was ace one time got talking to the chef, he made me the best scrambled eggs I've had since my grandmothers. One time I went with my sister we got talking to alot of the staff  who were off duty in the bar and had fun. They are a nice bunch of people. The hotel is not very big but that is part of the charm and it means they offer a more personalised service. There is a nice courtyard garden out the back. The thermal suite is free to all who are staying and is a nice treat with steam room, sauna etc. Book ahead if you want to have further treatments as we made mistake of not doing this and it was not possible to get them during the stay.I always find it to be very relaxing when I stay and food it good, This a treat for me. Would love to do afternoon tea here sometime with friends. 

For more information:
https://www.limerick.ie/
Tait Memorial Clock
Limerick City of Art : http://gallery.limerick.ie/
Belltable :Belltable
No 1 Pery Square: http://oneperysquare.com/

Belltable Arts Cente

The Crescent, Limerick with Daniel O' Connell Monument and Jesuit Church

No 1 Pery Square

Pery Square Georgian Terrace
Peoples Park 

Entrance to the Peoples Park

Tait Memorial Clock and Dominican Church

Peoples Park Memorial pillar to Thomas Spring Rice, MP for the city of Limerick from 1820 - 1832





Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Forrealll in Longlist :)

To all my beautiful people,

I  am in an especially elated mood today as Forrealll has been included in longlist for Irish Blog  Awards in photography and lifestyle section.

There are so many amazing blogs in each category. Forrealll is  still so new. I am still so learning so much about blogging. I love doing this so much. Making the shortlist would be beyond amazing but going this far in such a short space of time has been a huge achievement and its wonderful. Its a big thing for me and it means the world.

Thank you all for following my journey and for reading as always. 😀😙. I could not do this if it was not for all of you.

For more information see:
http://blogawardsireland.com/long-list-2016/

So so proud to be able to display this one :)





Flight of the Crows

Got up early this morning. Went for a walk the sun was beginning to peep through. I love being in the country in the morning there is a stillness and a calmness. Its you and nature. The birds are singing, there is dew on the grass, there is a hazy sunshine and mist over the river. It was magical.

I am such a night owl these days so forgot the morning is the best time of the day really. New beginning. 😊

Went on the hunt for some foxes to photograph but ended up with the crows only. I never really understand why they gather together and then fly off in a flock. By the time I caught on my camera most of the flock had disappeared and I was left with the four.

Tony Robbins recommends getting up early and having the first hour of the day to yourself and I can see why. 

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Inistioge Co KIlkenny

The White Tower 12c Belfry and Clock
Churches in the village 
Village Square

Where: Inistioge is located in South Kilkenny between Thomastown and New Ross in Wexford. 
Why: the village has been identified as a National Monument as architecturally there are a number of buildings which are of historical interest. There is a number of arts and crafts within the area from pottery to photography. Its so pretty and set along the banks of the river Nore as well. 
What: The village is located on the river Nore and is very scenic. The film Circle of Friends was recorded here and there is a cafe in the village baring the name still.  The famous ten span bridge is a tourist attraction in its own right.
Facilties: riverside walks, architecture, cafes, pubs, accomodation, antiques, shops, post office. 
Pros: I love this place its so beautiful. The views from Woodstock Estate down to the village are gorgeous. The churches are equally as lovely. There is so much history everywhere around the village.  There is a riverside walk in the village with a small waterfall and the ruins of a swiss cottage and waterfall. One can also walk along the trail from Thomastown to Inistogue see links below for more information. The locals do a wonderful job making sure the village is tidy and kept pretty too. 
Cons: streets are a little narrow and steep if heading up towards Woodstock so be careful. 
History: it was originally established as a Viking settlement.  An Augustinian Priory was established in 1206 and during this period and 1540 the area prospered. However, after the dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540 the area declined. In 1566 the Priory lands were granted to Sir Edmond Butler.Woodstock Estate lies in the hill above the village and had a major influence on the development of the village during the 17th and 18th century. 


For more information : 


View from Woodstock Estate to the bridge

View from Woodstock Estate to the Church.

Woodstock Bridge
St Columkills Well


Kilkenny trail to Thomastown



Inistioge Bridge



Some of the views locally
Towards New Ross

Towards Mt Brandon and Blackstairs






Nicholas Mosse Kilkenny



Where: Nicholas Moss, Bennettsbridge, Co Kilkenny. Just outside Kikenny city.

What: Renowned handcrafted Irish pottery.

Why: Its on the Kilkenny craft trail. Handcrafted Irish pottery. 

Whats there:  Extensive selection of pottery, special pieces, discount store for discontinued lines for Nicholas Mosse, range of household products from oil skins for tables with Mosse designs to kitchen utensils, glass and bird houses. 
Facilities: Cafe, car park, Toilets, shop and discount shop. 
Pros: Excellent display of work, really nice shop, well laid out, there is a lift so that you can go upstairs easily. Food in cafe is generally good. Amazing views from the cafe out onto the river and the bridge. Amazing craftsmanship. Viewing window in shop you may be able to see potters at work. The most amazing strawberry tartlet that I have ever eaten!!! The herd of goats are so cute too. Free car parking everything is well laid out.

Cons: May not be the most friendly place for children as alot of pottery.

History: The shop is based in a former disused mill by the river Nore. The Mosse family were millers in the area and owned the mill. The pottery is made from Irish clay fired using hydro electricity and then the chosen design is sponge painted onto the piece. Every piece goes through a 20 step process to finished product. Susan Mosse is a botanical artist and her creativity lie behind the designs on the pottery. A new design is released annually. While Nicholas is the pottery expert behind the brand. 
More information: 
http://nicholasmosse.com/abouthttp://www.trailkilkenny.ie/themed-trails/made-in-kilkenny-craft-trail/
Some of the pottery on display 

Amazing piece 
History behind hydro electric power


Loved this plate its a work of art

Love this one too the artwork is amazing

Some lamps

Some Mosse lamps

Glass display and table on display with pieces

Sign outside visitor centre
View from the cafe of the river
Restored old mill

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Planned August reading

Planned August reading is  A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax.


Ruby, I love you since reading this. Ruby suffers from depression and in order to try and defeat it she studied a Masters in Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy in Oxford University. I can identify with the frazzled people as they are my people :).  My mind is definitely a busy one. I have those nights when the second I go to fall asleep I remember I forgot to pay the bill and then end up doing it online there and then.  This book is a godsend to kill the monkey mind/hamster wheel whatever you want to call it. I was a little lost at sea trying to grasp some of the mindfulness books but Ruby has brought it home to me! She just made it so accessible to me, its deeply personal, funny and witty. She explains the science in simple lay mans terms and so you do not feel like you need a degree in psychology. She explains what mindfulness is, how to do it, why we need it and what the benefits are. She does know her stuff and she does her own artwork in the book. Mindfulness its for everyone as its an investment into the quality of own life. Being present, being in the moment, being there for your loved ones there is no better gift. The book fuses science and her personal story too and battle with depression.

There is a bit of repetition in the book but because she was able to make me grasp the ah ha moment and understand how to bring mindfulness into my life more beyond morning and evening meditation, like mindful walking and mindful eating.There is a 6 week mindfulness programme in the book also.  I love Peace is in Every Step too by Thich Nhat Hanh and I think both are the best books I have come across on the subject.

For more information:
Youtube Ruby Wax Frazzled


Just stumbled upon The Four Agreements looks interesting so may try and get my hands on this for next book this month.


Durrow Scarecrow Festival

Hi all,

The scarecrow festival is on right now in Durrow Co. Laois. Its brilliant and loads of things happening around the town during the week. Here are some pictures of the last festival I managed to make it to.Some of the scarecrows are excellent and can be so funny. Well done to all involved in organising the festival as its something different. Its amazing the work that those who participate in the festival put in to make the scarecrows. There is a prize for the best scarecrow, food area and craft fair. The link to the website is above and there is lots on each day. So if your in the area check it out and whats on.  Its free to walk around the town and see the many scarecrow displays. You have to pay to enter food area. I was there today but ran out of memory so will have to go back again to take photos of this years festival.

Hope you have fun.









Disclaimer: not associated to this event. All opinions are my own. All images are taken by me and cannot be reproduced, altered or used without my permission.

Glencar Waterfall and Lake Leitrim


Sorry all, I was doing daily posts but working on some photography too so here is some of my work. Earlier in the year I went to Glencar Waterfall and Lake its just outside Sligo Town. If you are up that way I would recommend going as the views are lovely and its a nice walk. When I was there. there was a series of waterfalls cascading from the mountain.There is a car park along the road and a map of the walk to the waterfall. There are three routes you can take, the waterfall walk, the lake shore road and the bog road.  I did the waterfall walk which was well signposted and also did some of the lake walk. There was snow on the mountains and it was a cold day with some sleet falling. 

I would recommend bringing hiking boots and all weather jacket with layers. Also, bring water and a mobile phone with battery. The lake walk is along a narrow road so just be careful of on coming traffic.

Its spectacular here and well worth seeing.

For more information 

http://www.sligowalks.ie/?pagid=glencar-lake-and-waterfall
http://www.discoverireland.ie/Activities-Adventure/glencar-waterfall/44568

View of the Waterfall 

View of Glencar Lake with snow on the mountain

Waterfall Walk and path

Colour view of lake and mountain 
Add caption

Another mountain stream

View of the lake

Waterfall path and woodloand

Stream 

Waterfall